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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 26 May, 2020
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These were our favourite books of 2019 - what were yours?

Let us know in the comments.

NO MATTER HOW many or few books you read this year, if you’re a reader at all you’ll have a few favourites that stood out.

It was a stellar year for Irish writing, with Anne Griffin’s debut novel When All Is Said and Niall Williams’ This Is Happiness consistently getting singled out for their greatness.

The Booker Prize was so tough that the award was shared between Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo. The latest Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling flew to the top of the bestseller list, making it a hattrick for Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen. Memoirs by Richie Sadlier and Vicky Phelan were also bestsellers. 

But what did the staff across Distilled Media make of books this year?

Sean Murray

  • The Wych Elm by Tana French – it’s a great thriller.

Kevin Brannigan:

  • For the Good Times by David Keenan

Niamh Smith

  • I’m just finished Forget Me Not by Claire Allan which is a fantastic thriller/whodunnit set in Derry, it’s ages since I have been so engrossed in a book that I stayed up late to read it. I will be looking up her other books. Her Kind by Niamh Boyce was something very different, I usually enjoy historical fiction anyway. Toffee by Sarah Crossan – sad and touching, tough to read at times but also lovely at others

Sinead O’Carroll

  • In Sunshine or in Shadow by Donald McRae (ostensibly a sports book, but so much more).

Jonathan Keane

  • Three non-fiction books I loved this year were The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff, Super Pumped by Mike Isaac and Dark Shadows by Joanna Lillis. All of them are totally mental in their own way. I thought the Snowden book was really good too, there are lots of little details about the leak and his getaway that I never knew about.

Paula Lyne

  • I really loved The Fire Starters by Jan Carson. Lots of magic realism and kids with wings. There were definitely elements of the Troubles mentioned throughout, but it was also a change to see a book set in the North that didn’t focus exclusively on the political situation there.

Aoife Barry

  • I knew nothing about I Who Have Never Known Men when I picked it up, but it rocketed into my favourite reads of all time. I also loved Mary Costello’s The River Capture, with its quiet revelations about life, love and literature. The Aislings continued to entertain. Max Porter’s second novel Lanny and John Lanchester’s latest The Wall kept me absolutely gripped. Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout had me in tears.

What about you? Tell us in the comments.

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